Let Go of Control: How to Learn the Art of Surrender
Let Go of Control: How to Learn the Art of Surrender By Dr. Amy Johnson
“You must learn to let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway.” ~Steve Maraboli
I’ve noticed that things go much more smoothly when I give up control—when I allow them to happen instead of making them happen. Unfortunately, I’m terrible at this.
Although I’m much better than I used to be, I’m a bit of a control freak. I often use perfectly good energy trying to plan, predict, and prevent things that I cannot possibly plan, predict, or prevent.
For example, I wonder if my baby is going to get a proper nap when we travel and, if not, just how crabby she might be. I think through her travel and napping patterns, attempting to figure out exactly what we’re up against, as if her sleep is something I can control.
I also think about the weather a lot when out-of-town guests are visiting. I spend my already-limited time planning for every possible weather/mood combination when considering our itinerary.
Like most humans I know, I spend a lot of time in business that’s not mine. The baby’s business, my friends’ business, Mother Nature’s business.
As a recovering control freak, there are three things I know for sure about trying to control things:
1. We try to control things because of what we think will happen if we don’t.
In other words, control is rooted in fear.
2. Control is a result of being attached to a specific outcome—an outcome we’re sure is best for us, as if we always know what’s best.
When we trust that we’re okay no matter what circumstances come our way, we don’t need to micromanage the universe. We let go. And we open ourselves to all sorts of wonderful possibilities that aren’t there when we’re attached to one “right” path.
3. The energy of surrender accomplishes much more than the energy of control.
I suspect it’s slightly different for everyone, but here’s what control mode looks and feels like for me: My vision gets very narrow and focused, my breath is shallow, adrenaline is pumping and my heart rate increases.
My mind shifts from topic to topic and from past to future very quickly, and I have little concentration, poor memory, and almost no present-moment awareness.
In surrender mode, I’m calm, peaceful. Breathing deeply, present in the moment. I